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The Defenders puts an important character in a new, interesting role

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We should have seen this coming

Sarah Shatz/Netflix

The Defenders will reintroduce an important character to the series in a strange, vital new role that may leave some confused.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for The Defenders.]

When Elektra was killed off in the second season of Daredevil, it was made apparent that she wasn’t going to remain dead for long. In The Defenders, Elektra is brought back to life as a dangerous weapon for the Hand by Alexandra, a new villain played by Signourney Weaver. With no memories of her previous life or who she is, Elektra takes on the new role assigned to her by Alexandra — the Black Sky.

Although the name may seem unfamiliar, this isn’t the first time Marvel has referenced the character in its Netflix series. In the first season of Daredevil, a young boy who is regarded as the Black Sky is discovered by the Hand in Japan. He’s captured and sent to New York City. Upon arrival, the Hand was ambushed by Stick, the man who taught Daredevil everything he knows about using his heightened senses to fight. Stick eventually kills the Black Sky, despite Daredevil’s trepidation over the murder of a child, but the conversation doesn’t end there.

Nobu Yoshioka, a Japanese businessman who belongs to the Hand, references the second coming of another Black Sky during Daredevil’s second season. Yoshioka reiterates that while another Black Sky existing is rare, it’s not impossible, and soon the Hand would have another weapon at its disposal.

That’s what makes Elektra’s character so crucial to the Hand’s mission. She represents the organization’s ability to resurrect the dead, returning stronger than ever. Unlike the young Japanese boy, however, Elektra has a charged past. As Alexandra and the Hand gear up to take on the newly formed Defenders, Elektra will come face-to-face with her old lover, Daredevil. Although she can’t remember her past right now, will she be able to after encountering Daredevil and being forced to confront her prior life?

This also leads to issues for Daredevil himself. He can’t seem to bring himself to kill Elektra, the only woman he has ever loved, despite knowing that she’s not really Elektra. If anything, she’s a homunculi version of the person she once was, crafted through dark magic and brought into the world for shady purposes.

As the Black Sky, Elektra is one of the most powerful beings on the planet, but it’s her relationship with Alexandra that is most interesting. The two have both been killed and brought back to life; they’ve bonded over the fear of ever venturing back into the dark place. Elektra won’t want to be killed again — who can blame her? — but Daredevil knows she has to die in order to protect the rest of the world.

It’s shaping up to be one of the most interesting conundrums Marvel’s Netflix universe has ever faced. The Defenders will be available to stream in full on Netflix as of Aug. 18.